Tom Cruise: Love him or hate him?

Tom and I have shared thirty-three years together. He’s never jumped on the couch over me; I wouldn’t say yes if he asked me to marry him; and I doubt we’ll ever go to church together–and that’s all right by me.

Tom has been in the spot light for over three decades. He’s grown up and grown old literally in front of our eyes. Why would it be a surprise, then, when the quirky chapters of Tom’s life emerge as well? While it’s popular to dislike him, I think he’s more talented than people give him credit. We are the same age and I’ve seen probably every film he’s been in. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Throughout the stages of my life, he’s been around in the background entertaining me for decades. He’s like a brother to me.

Here are some of my favorite roles.

The Great

The  Very Good

One of my favorite roles of Tom Cruise’s was when he danced as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time. He stole the movie and showed he had a sense of humor.

Other than John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Gary Cooper, he’s well on his way to becoming the top-producing paid actor in history.  (Quigley Publications’ annual poll of movie exhibitors)

Tom Cruise makes it look easy–the stunts he does on his own, handling smart dialogue, passionate deliveries, the variety of characters. His expressions, that running gait, the roar. Hate him if you must, but I bet there’s one in his filmology  you admire.  Which one is it?  Or, if you must, which one is his worst? I’d have to say Cocktail.

29 thoughts on “Tom Cruise: Love him or hate him?

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  1. in all this I don’t think we really know Tom at all? Despite how long he’s been around and how many movies he’s made (most of which good) he doesn’t seem very accessible. I have no clue what motivates him? Can’t be money? or can it? Must like what he’s doing … I guess? And mostly I do too.
    Too bad he bailed out on The Magnificent 7 remake – likely won’t get done now.
    Ya … jumping on the couch … probably didn’t help. I regard The Last Samurai as a Classic …

  2. For no particular reason I’ve seen very few Tom Cruise films, and I’d have to go as far back as “Risky Business” for a personal favourite. As an teenager in the 80s I was part of the target demographic for that movie, so I’d be interested to watch it again and see how it holds up.
    “Born on the Fourth of July” is another one that’s due a re-watch.

    1. Hi Paul–I just watched BFJ the other week and it has held up well! He has such an expressive face and passion and energy which comes through the screen like few other actors. I reckon his critics think he’s over-the-top, but let them. I think if I had to recommend one for you, you would appreciate ‘The Last Samarai’. It’s a lovely film and Ken Watanabe grounds the film. 🙂

    1. 🙂 Thanks, Josh. I never admired him more than when he was willing to have fun with a role. I suspect for a film about the movie industry, there was a lot of truth to parody, including the fire-and-brimstone meglomaniac Les Grossman.

  3. Not sure I could name a favorite role, though I definitely do tend to be a fan. I’m almost always up for a good Tom Cruise flick. Nice write-up! 🙂

    1. Awww, thanks Chris. I think of Christian Bale or Philip Seymour Hoffman or Sean Penn, all contemporaries, and they would score higher on my “best actor” list. But, Tom Cruise is like Clint Eastwood for me. Highly bankable, highly charismatic, highly fun.

    1. I’m glad you mentioned Eyes Wide Shut. What a peculiar Kubrick film. There’s so much depth to that film and I could watch it over and over and discover something else. True art.

  4. Can’t say I hate him but I don’t love him either. I do like him in some stuff, though I’m getting slightly bored seeing him playing essentially the same character. Wish he’d take more chances with roles like in Tropic Thunder, he was a hoot in that!

    1. Hi Ruth 🙂 Did you like him in ‘Rock of Ages’?
      Yes, I think he should give up Mission Impossible and get to multi-dimensional roles. He’s got more than enough money to do whatever he wants–I hope he will do meaty roles again. Or more comedy. Thanks 🙂

  5. I don’t really love or hate Tom Cruise. I was really impressed with his Mission Impossible stunts especially that crazy stunt in Dubai for Ghost Protocol. He’s done some good movies. However, on a side note, my boyfriend would disagree with you on Cocktail. Haha! Its kind of his guilty pleasure 😉

    1. Hi Kim! Couldn’t agree more with you regarding his stunts. I know he likes to be thrilled, and I was amazed–like the rock climbing to the Dubai scene you mention to car racing or motorcycle stunts. I think that’s pretty impressive. Ha ha! We all have guilty pleasures, don’t you think? Mine is ‘The Fifth Element’. What a lot of fun and pretty terrible movie. I don’t care. –Hey, this sounds like a post. Thanks for commenting, Kim 🙂

  6. I like him in most of films mentioned here, but I think ‘Born on The Fourth of July’ was his most unique role. And I love ‘Rain Man’, ‘A Few Good Men’ and ‘Jerry Maguire’ I haven’t seen him do that many great roles more recently.

    1. Yes, I agree. Oblivion, Jack Reacher, –I was amused with him in ‘Rock of Ages’ , but he is off his mark right now. He could get any script or project he wanted. I hope his glory days are not over. Thank you, Nuwansen.

  7. Cruise is a good actor, but, a great movie star. Apart from some odd public episodes he is a master at getting people to like him. He was at an opening in London where he was 2 hours late getting in the theatre because he was talking to fans. One guy said to him that his girlfriend would be so upset that he had met Cruise and she hadn’t.
    So Tom said well get her on the phone, and he had a 10 minute conversation with her. We can only assume the boyfriend was justly rewarded for getting Tom on the phone. I believe this is the real reason he is such a huge star, because he has time for the people who actually buy the tickets.

    1. Wow! What a cool story. Yay Tom. Thanks for sharing–I think he’s a lot nicer than his critics give him credit. He makes it all look so easy on the screen. I think he’s a very good actor. 🙂

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